Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Seashore Shots

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Remade

God blessed me with the opportunity to share my testimony last night.

I guess I should be looking for opportunities to do this on a daily basis. But. My story is a long one. Very long.

God has been so good to me. So very, very good to restore and remake a life that had no hope.

And even after I shook my dusty fist at Him in my intention to control my own destiny that I ended up making sure my life was nothing but dust and dead skin cells and regret. And when I finally handed it over to Him, He shaped, shifted and molded those bits of despair into something that shouts of His magnificent power and grace.

Thank You, thank You, thank You, God Almighty, Author and Creator of the good bits of my life and redeemer of my messes.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Literary Look Alike? I'd Be Honored

I have barely been able to read for weeks. A page here and there, if that. I did finish this novel though. This is the one I mentioned several weeks ago.

My critique partner e-mailed me out of the blue and told me that I needed to read this book. That the author's voice is very similar to my own. Then I discovered the book in my pile. It had been randomly mailed to me. How could I not read it? It's like being told you look like someone's twin. You eventually have to look at that person's picture for an idea of how people may see you. (I'm saying you...maybe it's not true for you, but I felt the need. I do want to leave a positive taste in people's mouths.)

This book, The Girl with Glass Feet is written in my least favorite Point of View, omniscient, and is fantasy, one of my least favorite genres. I was a little scared to pick it up. And this crit partner is one I wanted to please...her kind comments meant more than just about anyone else's. So,nseeing what she considered a literary similarity was a curious and horrifying thing especially within a book that was so unlike what I usually chose to read.

And then I opened it and began to read. Here are my thoughts about the book. And if there are similarities in my writing and Ali Shaw's, then I'm humbled and honored.

My Review:

I'm surprised that I loved this book. Usually fantasy leaves me cold as stone because I struggle getting beyond the extremely foreign and sometimes bizarre details and often I don't connect with the characters because of that struggle. An omniscient point of view is my least favorite, too. Girl With Glass Feet is both fantasy and borderline omniscient. To overcome these issues the story must be amazing and the writing must be compelling. Girl With Glass Feet delivers on both.

Set on an island that is both magical and brutal, it is a story of loss and of love. A tragedy and a hope, life and death struggles with flashes of breathtaking beauty, and characters who ache with unresolved pain. Shaw's prose is artistic and he treats his characters with a respectful tenderness. I opened the book because of the unique premise but the pages turned because the story captured my heart.

Readers who don't like the pace of literary fiction may not love the wistful and meandering turns this book travels at times. Those who love romance and hate a tinge of tragedy probably won't love Girl With Glass Feet. If you can't do F-bombs, there are enough that you may struggle with the read. But character collectors and lovers of whimsy and poignancy should consider giving it a read.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Borrowed Sunshine...

The weather is a little gray.

There are no flowers even hinting that they may poke out and visit...

So I'm borrowing some Chilean blooms.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Terra Firma

Sometimes I take life for granted.

That's a vast understatement...I actually almost always take life for granted.

I take God for granted. I know He's there. I know He loves me, so therefore, I move forward in trust that He knows I love Him and that He'll steer me onto the path He wants me on. But I often neglect to actually talk to Him about all of the above.

Lately I've also taken terra firma for granted. Including the terra firma of the United States economic and political climates. The recent Chile experiences have reminded me that this life is not guaranteed to be safe and without challenges and that my security does not lie in dirt or mortar or ideas and legislation.

Finally, I take the air I breathe for granted. A near and dear one has been fighting pneumonia. Talking brings on coughing fits. Walking up the stairs steals strength and air. Tonight I got to watch this very important person sleeping soundly and without coughing.

A breath of fresh air.

Thank You, Lord.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Guest Blog ~ Leaving Hurryville

Leaving Hurryville

(Comments From a Former Resident)

by Frankie D. Sherman

A big concern of Christian women is the epidemic of shallow relationships among women. In an age when broken marriages, moral decline, and unbelievable heartache are frighteningly high, our God-given support system is lacking.

What happened? Why do we know more people than ever before, yet know very little about each other? Why do we know more about the latest celebrity break-up, yet very little about the young woman in our church going through her own divorce?
Unfortunately, we live in Hurryville. Hurry and get the kids to school. Hurry and get to work. Hurry to Bible study. Hurry to the ball field. Hurry! Girl Hurry! In this “hurry up, see you later” world we don’t take the time to invest in relationships like the generations before us did. Our busy lives leave very little time to invest in meaningful relationships.
Because of this, we are suffering. We miss wonderful opportunities to reach others for Christ and to strengthen others in the body of Christ.
How about you and I change the busyness in our circle of influence by adjusting our schedules and priorities? We can start right now to focus on the relationships in our circle of influence as the nurturing women God designed us to be.
Becoming a better friend is something believers should focus on, because it can impact the world for the Christ.

So where do we begin?
  • Leave Hurryville-without a forwarding address! It’s a choice and a hard one. But God is faithful and he will help you with this lifestyle change.
  • Pray, and read God Word.
  • Schedule time with friends; ask them how they are and what’s up in their life.
  • Engage in meaningful conversation about them and how the Lord is working in their life.
  • Leave the cell phone turned off during your time together.
  • Share good books, good tips, good information and good food.
If your friend is a single mom, widow, health issue, or has problems at home, always be sensitive to her needs or situation. You are not “the solution” but you can show her you care through your friendship. God will provide the wisdom concerning boundaries and blessings.
I left Hurryville, many years ago. Sometimes my old nature tries to pull me back. But I learned the value of meaningful friendships and Hurryville doesn’t compare. Should you decide to leave Hurryville too let me know. We can sit on the porch and enjoy chat together.
Frankie Sherman Photo
About the author:
Frankie Sherman is a national speaker, comedian, and Bible teacher for conferences, retreats, and women's events. She fell in love with Jesus at Vacation Bible School and takes every opportunity to tell others about the joy of being alive in Christ. She is a former choreographer for the Georgia Peach Bowl and the Florida Citrus Bowl Halftime Show. Her specialty is in theater musical/productions. Her first Bible Study, Why We Need Girlfriends is based on the relationship of Mary and Elizabeth, from Luke's gospel. Two women brought together by extraordinary circumstances by an extraordinary God. Frankie is from South Carolina—loves sweet tea, BIG hair and her grand-girls. She believes there will never be another Elvis. And knows that her Jesus will return for her soon.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Serials and Scenarios ~ Vote and Get a Chance at a Kindle...

Head on over to Misty Taggart's site to vote for your favorite book trailer. Each voter gets an entry for the grand prize giveaway- A KINDLE! Hurry- midnight (PST) March 23, 2010 deadline.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Toad-Man's B-Day

Happy Birthday, Toad-Boy.

We could have named you after your grandfather Patrick since you were born on St. Patrick's day. I blame the lack of drugs before and during delivery on that little oversight.

We did score the sweet combination of doctors. Drs. Green and Bean, thank you very much.

Being the first-born you were the practice child and I apologize and thank you for not sending us the summons, the server or the bill for extensive psychological help.

We are very proud to call you our son. Thanks for blessing me for twenty-something years....oooh those numbers get a little scary, Son. Trust me on that.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Don't See These In Iowa....

More images from Chile.... that's why she needed an adapter.

GARBAGE CAGES....because dogs roam hill and dale.

Little Lizards

And Dirty Q-TIP Trees....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Chile Dogs

23 reports that dogs wander throughout Santiago, Chile. Many have homes, of course, but many, many, many seem to fend for themselves. None growled or acted aggressive and most looked healthy enough.

Open-air restaurants are stomping grounds for local dogs. Others just hang near tourists, patiently waiting for a handout or a pet. 23 said she wanted to adopt them and bring them all home. (Judging from the pictures, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have room.)

Also. After the big quake of February 26th, there was total silence for a few seconds followed by piercing alarms of all sorts and the eerie howling of dogs.

The howling of dogs was also present before the earthquake. One church member heard them at 1:30 a.m. and told her son that something was going to be happening that night. And boy did it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ A Contrast or Two

I am SO glad my world traveler is home safe and sound.

We've talked hours and are just starting to scratch the surface.

One of the biggest blessings of being in Chile during the earthquakes (there were two more, a 7.2 and a 6.9 the morning before they left) was seeing the people reach out to their brothers and sisters and neighbors.

At one point the girls in Chile had to INSIST on helping with relief because there were so MANY people helping that they didn't really need them. Just their neighborhood area collected over 4 tons of clothes and hundreds of boxes of food, medical and cleaning supplies for those further south who were devastated by the big earthquake.

More to follow later. : )

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Serials and Scenarios ~ Once in a Blue Moon

I am a third of the way through this book. Pretty entertaining so far. : ) Review will be coming soon.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Once in a Blue Moon

B&H Books (March 1, 2010)


Leanna Ellis


Leanna's sister recommended that she write, since she ‘wrote in her journal all the time.’ The idea took root and began to grow. So after five years of teaching, she quit and started writing, with no clue about the book business. Ignorance is bliss. If she’d known the odds against her, she might not have ever started writing.

For about three years, she wrote with a collaborator, but because she had so many ideas she began to write more stories on her own. She suffered numerous rejections. Deservedly so. But she was growing as a writer and learning. She went to as many conferences as she could manage. During that time, she met her future husband, fell in love and became engaged. She also began to final in contests and then actually began to win! The contests helped her get noticed by editors and agents. In March, the year Braveheart won the Best Picture Oscar, Victor/Victoria opened on Broadway, she sold her first book. It was her Cinderella year. She sold her book, got married and won RWA’s Golden Heart Award in Hawaii.

She wrote six books between her first baby’s birth and when the second baby turned one. Then she hit a wall. Not literally. But creatively. It’s not that she didn’t have any ideas, but her ideas didn’t fit the romance market. These new characters, random and weird as they were, began to take over the part of her brain that wasn’t domesticated. These stories were about all types of women, and so she began to let her writing grow in new and different ways.

Leanna Ellis sold more than 1.3 million romantic novels writing as Leanna Wilson, winning a Readers’ Choice award and the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award for her work. Elvis Takes a Back Seat is the first book published under her married name, marking a new creative direction in her writing. Like Francine Rivers before her, Leanna has left behind a successful career as an author of secular romances to write novels of faith that glorify God. A former schoolteacher, Leanna is now a homeschool mom and lives with her husband and children in Keller, Texas.


Bryn Seymour was nine years old when her mother died under mysterious circumstances on the same day Apollo 11 made its historic lunar landing. Forty years later—divorced, working as an obituary writer, and duly cynical—she meets Howard, a conspiracy theorist who knew her mom and believes a small Texas town may hold clues to what really fueled her demise. Seeking closure, Bryn goes along for this men-in-black ride. But upon meeting Howard’s son Sam, an outspoken Christian, she can’t decide whose beliefs are more pie-in-the-sky.

The gravity of life has pulled Bryn down for decades. But a perfect love could be her first step to soaring. It only happens once in a blue moon.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Once in a Blue Moon, go HERE

Watch the book trailer:


Once in a Blue Moon is a charming and quirky novel of second chances, forgiveness and moving toward hope. Reckless in life, but not in love, Bryn Seymour, meets a man full of strange ideas and conspiracies who knew her deceased mother and hints at a conspiracy involving her mother's death. Bryn was just a child when she lost her mother and emotions and hungers drive her to investigate this crazy man's theories. Along the way she meets another man who challenges her with things she fears far more than any physical stunt she's ever encountered, love and faith. Those of you who like charming, well-written, romantic encounters full of quirk and characters need to give this book a chance.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Serials and Scenarios ~ Will Color for a Free Book....

Coloring Contest

Need a fun activity for your kids, grand kids, nephews, nieces, or preschool class?

What better than a coloring page that shows them the importance of prayer!?

Have your kids return the colored page to us by 3/31/2010 for the opportunity to WIN over 10 WaterBrook Multnomah children's books!

Here's how to enter/participate:

1. Enter the contest here by March 30, 2010
2. Once you enter, you'll be given a link to download a PDF of the coloring sheet
3. Print the coloring sheet out on any computer printer
4. Have your kids color the sheet
5. Mail the sheet to:

WaterBrook Press
Attn: Coloring Contest
12265 Oracle Boulevard, Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80921

We look forward to seeing your kid's amazing coloring pages!

View contest rules here.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Serials and Scenarios ~ Joseph, The Heart of the Father

Joseph, The Heart of the Father

By Fran Riedemann

My Review:

One of my favorite Christmas songs is Joseph's Lullaby by Mercy Me. The simplicity of the words and the immensity of the meaning behind them brings tears to my eyes nearly every time I hear it. I have often pondered what it would have been like for Mary. For her to be aware of a destiny beyond her capability to understand and the slow realization of truth as the events unfolded throughout her Son's life. But then there's Joseph. A man who took on this scandalous mother and baby and who then set aside his own rights in order to respect her and the holy task within her. What kind of man was Joseph?

I'm not alone in my ponderings. Fran Riedemann has used her knowledge of Scripture and Jewish history and has fleshed out Joseph the man. Though I hesitated on the Amazon star ranking because there were some technical issues and preferences that made the read a little challenging at times, I was thoroughly pulled into, especially, the later portion of the story. Riedemann layers in elements of sacrifice and communion and remembrances that were nearly painful to read. How much did Joseph and Mary know before the events unfolded? Did they understand that Jesus would die for us all? Or did they hope that He might be the one who'd be the conquering king that the nation expected? At what point did Jesus know He'd be the world's sacrificial Passover Lamb? The things I couldn't possibly relate to as a modern American woman are thoughts to ponder. Ones that have added to a story that continues to change the world one soul at a time.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Whatcha See is Whatcha Get

I love the black hairy grandchildren I've been hanging with for the past couple of weeks. Well, I actually always hang with them but I've been responsible for them, the caretaker, the affection recipient whilst their mommy has been away.

This is why I enjoy the dogs. There is no question of what they want, nor is there any game playing going on. When they need a hug they go for it. Now this is sometimes a bad thing because they don't stop to check what I'm wearing or whether I'm carrying anything before they missile into my personal space. When they decide it's mealtime, clarity is not an issue. As a matter of fact they begin to remind me that dinner time is at 5:00 o'clock by 3:30. Wouldn't want to miss that. They are actually standing guard over the food bin right now, in case there are any squirrel or cat pirates about.

My favorite is when they both want affection. Lola's love language includes toys. An intact toy or even a toy shred will do. Her favorite thing in the world (okay, second favorite after treats) is being chased around the table in an exciting game of keep away. Lily is content only if she is being touched, the closer the better. If she could get her 70 pound body into my front pocket, she'd be very thrilled with that. If we could shrink her and carry her around in a purse, she'd be pretty happy, as long as she had some skin to lick. This love language difference makes for some funny living puzzles. I'll be petting Lola, complimenting her on her toy and suddenly look down and realize that Lily has managed to squeeze Lola out of the picture and slide her head into my hand mid-pat.

Definitely nice to come home to simple, just-the-facts dogs after a long day in the people salt mines.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ God Sightings and Faith Rumblings

Ways I've seen God work this week:

Obvious one. 23 arrived safely, survived an 8.8 earthquake, and is in an upbeat frame of mind and is anxious to help wherever and however she can.

The earthquake that rocked my world rocked several others. Without going into a lot of details let's just say that I have shared my faith and talked about God's power and peace more this week than I remember ever talking about it. At work it's come up. The newscasts and newspaper articles are causing people to ask me questions that they've avoided or never thought to ask me. I have shared details about the crazy peace He gave me with crying individuals. It's been awesome. I know this is happening to most of the folks involved in this as well. .

I am working on starting a ministry that I don't really want to start. But I feel like I'm supposed to, that it's important and that I'm the one who is supposed to start it. I was questioned by someone who is infamous for being sour and I was able to separate my feelings from the truth. The truth is that individual is sour and that most ideas are going to evoke a "bitter beer face." I feel freed from trying to please this person and actually really only feel a burden to give God what He's asking from me and that He'll work out the details and the wisdom part. I have gotten some serious affirmation from some others, those whom I feel the burden to minister to.

My rear-end is sore and I feel my ab muscles and I love feeling healthy after working out and I'm grateful that God has given me a body that I'm able to work out with.

Lily and Lola are being extremely good while 23 is gone. One broken flower pot which was pretty much human stupidity. Why would we put it at tail level I ask you. Three nervous pees. One ripped-up bread sack, two ripped-up napkins and that's it. Impressive. Really impressive.

It feels like spring instead of winter. Nuff said.

Have a blessed weekend. I plan to count mine... (blessings)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Chile Report

We got a phone call tonight. It was so good to hear 23's voice. So good. They have had power for just over 24 hours. During the aftermath of the quake, 23's team has been hard at work, doing what they originally went to Chile to accomplish. And they have almost completed what they set out to do. Now that power is back and places of need are becoming clearer they will probably head south and do what they can to bring relief to many who have lost much.

The four Americans feel absolutely blessed to be in Chile. More and more stories of miracles thrill them. 23 said that there was an moment where a sparse gathering of church members voices singing praise in Spanish gave her goosebumps. Beautiful to God's ears and hers. There have been light-hearted celebrations as they people have discovered another friend or relative is safe. 23 has moms, aunts and sisters insisting that she must meet this young man or that young man. She even has a dog she can visit and cuddle with.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ From Their Lips to Your Ears, Lord

I feel absolute freedom when trusting God. The words of this prayer are so powerful, and so beautiful when sung. It blessed me and I hope it blesses you. My thoughts and prayers are with 23 and her Chile team as they are in their 4th day post earthquake.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ My Chilean Earthquake

My bladder woke me at 6:45 Saturday morning. Not unusual. What was unusual was getting a text message in the wee hours (pardon the pun). Who would be texting me that early I wondered as I opened it. Nice. A relative telling me she was praying for 23 and her Chile team. But this relative already had told me she would and why would she be doing it at 6:45 a.m? Odd. Then I noticed another envelope on my screen. 18 had texted "Please tell me 23 is okay." at 2:00 a.m.

That's when my heart jumped into my throat and the claws of dread wrapped around my stomach. What was going on.

Minutes later I knew. Chile had experienced an 8.8 earthquake and my daughter was smack dab in the midst of it.

I rushed downstairs and found Rob who had huge eyes and a cautious expression on his face. " Do you know?"

He nodded. "I just listened to a message Pastor left for us."

We stared at each other for a second and then both teared up. "Do we know if she's okay?" I managed to ask. He shook his head. We started to pray. For her, for the country, for our other friends that traveled with her. Panic almost suffocated me. What would I do without her? How could I even begin to face the possibility that she might not come home.

And then the panic was gone, replaced by a complete and total peace. Our daughter is in the hand of God Almighty. We gave her to Him when she was a wee little girl.

We love her so much, delight in her completely and we consider her a friend. She means so much to so many. Yesterday someone told me that a smile from 23 is a gift. I can't imagine life without her zany sense of humor, her absolute zest for life, nor her big, soft heart. But. In those seconds we had to process our panic, two things jumped out at me. One. If I was to no longer have my daughter it would break my heart and rock my world, but, it would not devastate me. Our relationship is honest, rich and full of "I love yous" and mutual understanding. I have no regrets about what we have between us. And that is so freeing. I would miss her with every breath, but it would be sadness, not despair.

And number two. I want nothing more for my children than for them to fall in love with Jesus and to follow Him where He asks them to go. 23 obediently said yes to God when He asked her to go to Chile. She knew and I know that that is where she was supposed to be. So many things worked out too perfectly for this trip to be anything else but of God. And if I love her, I have to know that He loves her more. And if she is doing what He asked her to do, then she is living life to the absolute fullest.

By 8:15 a.m. I had heard that they were okay. She texted yesterday, borrowed a phone to do it, said that she loves us, that she's okay and that she will e-mail when there is power. She is far, far from home in a country where she barely understands what's being said, in the midst of a huge natural disaster. Many have died, the ground continues to quake. The arrival home is uncertain and all the plans they had carefully made before they left American soil have been changed. My daughter is facing an adventure of faith and endurance and I'm so proud of her for saying Yes to God.